Saturday, April 21, 2012

Modding a Dell Perc 6 / Dell H310 / Dell H710 (other LSI 1078 or 9223-8i based) SAS Raidcontroller

Last week I was working on my new fileserver. To ensure my data will be a bit safer I will use a RAID solution. In my storage I had a Dell Perc6 controller, perfect for my needs. There was just one problem, when installed my server didn't boot.

I heard about it before, use tape to mask 2 pins in the PCI-E bus. After searching a bit more I found exactly what these 2 pins do, and I took the step and it works like a charm.

The pins you need to mask are:
B5 (SMCLK, SMBus clock) an B6 (SMDAT, SMBus data)

When these two are masked you are blocking the SMBus signals, now they cannot interrupt the boot process anymore. In the past there where only some vague guidelines for this, not real standard, which lead to a variety of different implementations, which in the current time lead to issues with new motherboards who do follow the now current standards.

If you want to apply this mod as well, you may do so with some insulation (electrical) tape or paint you use on nails. I do recommend the first one.

As you can see on the picture on the right I used the tape. You must only cover these 2 pins on THIS side of the controller, you mustn't tape the other side!


I hope this will help some other people in the future.
This has been tested and found working on Perc5 controllers as well!


p.s. this was tested with this hardware
SuperMicro H8SGL-F
AMD Opteron 6166HE
4x4GB ddr3 ecc reg
ESXi 5 (boot from usb)
2x2TB Seagate (attached to the perc6)

Later on I successfully added the 2x2TB as a mirrored RAID setup to my ESX as a datahost.
This Perc6 can only see harddisks up to 2TB, if I ad 3 TB harddisks it only sees 2.1TB

Update:
This raidcontroller has been moved to another system with the same mod, and it works perfectly.
ASRock P67 Extreme 4
Intel I3 3220T
2x2GB DDR3
8x2TB attached to the perc 6



Also confirmed working on the folowing cards:
IBM SR M1115
Dell Perc5
Dell H310

And probably all other LSI 1078 and LSI 9223-8i bases controllers.


Cheers,
Yannick

90 comments:

  1. For anyone else trying this on a newer motherboard, like a B75. Tape the pins and disable the onboard video. I could not get past the "Initializing HA-0 (Bus 1, Dev 0)" message until I disabled the on board video and placed a PCI-e Video card in the system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for this comment. I hope it will be useful for other people!

      Delete
    2. I just moved an LSI 9211 from a Ryzen system where it worked without any modification to an old Intel P67 system where this was required. I vaguely remembered this mod when my MSI P67A-GD65 system wouldn't POST and found this article. The best tape that I found for something like this was labeler tape. Cut to size and peel off back and place where you need it.

      It worked on the first attempt so thanks for the article.

      Delete
  2. Hi Yannik,
    Can you confirm that the PERC 6/i RAID controller doesn't recognise Hard Disks that have more than 2 TB storage capacity ? Is this a hardware limitation ?
    My PERC 6/i has the following software installed : FirmWare 1.22.52-1909, BIOS 2.04.00, package 6.3.3-0002 (this is the latest, I believe).

    My plan is to get a bunch of 3 TB HDD's to build a RAID array (GPT), but if the PERC 6/i isn't able to recognise the full size then it's no use buying 3 TB disks.

    My server is built around a Gigabyte H77 motherboard without a dedicated graphics card (using the CPU's integrated graphics only). I had no problems getting everything running.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is confirmed, you can not use disk larger then 2TB on this controller. This is a hardware limitation as far as I know.

      I tried it with the latest firmware and it doesn't recognise 3Tb disks

      Delete
  3. I used this tape mod on a Dell Perc H310 flashed with IT firmware on a Gigabyte Z77 motherboard. Before the mod, the system would only beep several times and restart.

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  4. A guy over here performed the same trick on a Dell H310 combined with a Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H

    http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=28727.0

    ReplyDelete
  5. On my motherboard (Asus Rampage III Extreme, X58), inserting a reflashed (IT) Dell Perc H310 disables memory slot B1. So at least one DIMM is "lost" and the system memory count goes down.
    Taping over pins B5/B6 solves the problem.
    Hopefully this will prevent some people from pulling their hair out ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for this addition! I hope more people will find this useful!

      Delete
  6. Hi what can do the lsi firmware better with or with out IT mode ? This card is not the real deal.

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  7. TY for very helpful blog article. I can confirm that "taping" mod works with IBM SR M1115 (which is LSI 9223-8i) as well. We could not get it booting with Lenovo ThinkServer TS440 and more than 2 sticks of memory installed. With tape, it boots normally with 4 sticks of memory ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to see this helped you! And thank you for your contribution about the IBM controller!

      Delete
  8. Thank you very much!!!! you solved mi problem with perc h310 in Asus maximus VI formula xD <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thx, now my problem is that the performance is low with the perc h310 raid 0 than the integrated intel raid o... :/
      I suposed that the raid 0 hardware is better than the raid 0 software...
      maybe i am ins a mistake.

      Delete
    2. Are you sure you taped only those 2 pins and not accidentally another pin to?
      I never experienced any performance issues, not with the perc6, sas6, or the H310

      Delete
    3. Poor performance solved.
      Download Megaraid Storage Manager from LSI for a 9211-8i or a 9240 (Works on Perc controllers). Once installed, enable the disk write cache on each drive, it is off by default (Onboard software based controllers enable cache by default).
      Disk performance will dramatically improve.

      Delete
  9. Yannick,

    This is a very useful post and some time ago resolved my issue with H310 on ASUS P5B Deluex motherboard. All worked flawless until I decided to build myself a new server, based on Asus Gryphon Z87. I've moved H310 with a piece of tape over pins B5 and B6 to the new mobo. It powers up OK and CentOS starts booting, the OS is installed on a separate drive connected to one of the mobo SATA ports, so no problem there. However, during boot process kernel reports problems with sas_megaraid, it hangs for a while and loops indefinitely with kernel udev messages, mostly reporting "unexpectedly returned with status 0x0100".

    I played around with quite a few BIOS settings for PCI Express - link speed, gen, but none of combinations seems to do the trick. I tried using a dedicated GPU, as someone above suggested that, but it does not improve matters. Additionally I tried a few various grub kernel boot options. All leads to the same outcome – CentOS refuses to boot with H310 installed on the motherboard.

    As I sanity check I have removed Perc H310 card and as expected problem goes away. Another of my checks was to put back H310 and try booting from CentOS 6.5 installation CD, but I ran in to the same problems.
    I checked quite a few BIOS settings for PCI Express - the link speed, gen etc, tried all available PCI express slots, but none of the combinations seems to do the trick.
    One of my last checks was to try running insterting H310 without B5/B6 covered, but as I expected Gryphon Z87 just goes it power on/power off cycle, very similar to the P5B.

    I spent quite a bit of time trying to make it work or find some answers without much success. Looks like in my case H310 worked superbly with an older Asus motherboard, but refuses to do so with a modern Gryphon Z87.

    Did you or maybe anyone else reading this post encounter similar problem with modern motherboards and Dell Perc H310?

    Thanks,
    renfri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello renfri,

      first of all thank you! And I'm happy this helped you in the past!

      Unfortunately I cannot help you with this question, simply because I have never experienced this before.

      I hope another visitor can help you out with this situation!
      So anyone, feel free to reply if you know a solution or have another tip which might help!

      Delete
    2. I have seen strange when....
      There is another, different brand, raid controller installed (onboard raid enabled).
      There is another PCI-E card in a higher priority slot (Swap cards around).
      Bios needs to be updated on the motherboard, the raid controller, or both.

      Delete
  10. I have an ASUS P5N-D motherboard and have just received my H310 card. The system will post fine and I can enter the configuration for the H310. I can set up my virtual disks with no problem. It will initialize them successfully. However, when I reboot the system, after the H310 has initialized successfully, I get the error message "No physical memory is available at the location required for the windows boot manager". The H310 is not configured as the boot device, I have tried several different boot options, SSD, regular HDD and a USB stick. They all fail with the same error. I have tried taping up the H310 as described in this article, with no success. Any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I don't think taping will do the trick.
      I heard more of these problems you discribe with nvidia chipsets. Try and clear the complete CMOS. Ater that only point 1 hdd as boot device and disable all the other (both in hdd boot order as in device boot ordere).
      I hope this works for you!

      Delete
    2. Hi Yannick. Thanks for the reply, I tried your suggestion but unfortunately it did not produce any success. I will see about trying a different motherboard. Thanks again.

      Delete
    3. Hello Christopher, I was wondering, where you able to solve this? It would be nice if you let us know what did it so in the future other people might benefit to!

      Delete
    4. HI Yannick, I was unable to get the h310 to work in the ASUS P5N-D motherboard. I am using an Areca controller instead and its working fine. I tried the H310 in a HP ML350G5 as well, but it wouldnt boot in there either. Maybe its a bad card? Anyways, thanks for all your help and suggestions.

      Delete
    5. Unfortuonalty that sometimes happens.
      I'm glad you have a working system now with the Areca!

      Delete
  11. the trick works perfectly on mobo asus p5k

    ReplyDelete
  12. For anyone out there interested, I just did this same tape trick on a DELL PERC H710P to get it to work in a ASUS Maximus GENE VI motherboard. It would not complete the post process before. It works perfect now. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here, H710P in an HP Z600, thanks!!

      Delete
  13. This works on Lenovo ThinkServer TS440 and an Intel I350-T4 ethernet card. One memory module (4GB or 8GB) in DIMM2 works but two or more fails. When you it fails, you will get 3 short and 1 long beeps repeatedly on power on. Thank you Yannick for this excellent post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very welcome! I'm always glad to see this mod works out for people!
      I have heard more people with the memory issue, unfortunately I was not able to reproduce this, so I could not come up with a solution. Thank you!

      Delete
  14. Works perfectly with Dell PERC H310 on Asus Maximus III Formula, although I had to change controller´s heatsink for a bigger one. It´s quite a turkey fryer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can get quit hot indeed, it can handle some stress tough, but better safe then sorrow. make sure you get a good airflow past it.

      Glad to see it working for you, thanks for the notification!

      Delete
  15. Thanks worked great on my IBM SR M1115. Almost returned card, so glad I found your site!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yannick,

    Thank you for the article. I have an IBM M1115 that I cross flashed to LSI 9211-8i IT mode. I could not get the board to boot on 3 different machines until taping the pins.

    However, I can get the card to boot, flash, configure etc. but cannot get it to boot from one of the connected HDD's even though it is recognised as a boot device. At the point the card bios recognises and identifies the boot drive as being able to boot the system it says that the boot rom was successfully loaded and then it just sits there with that message on the screen.

    All I can do at that point is reboot the machine. I have it overnight thinking maybe it was some kind of timeout to noavail.

    If I boot teh system from the network or CD etc. Linux sees the drive and can install to it etc. It is correctly recognised as a SAS2008 device using the MPT driver.

    But I cannot boot any drive from it. I was hoping others had this issue. Do the taped pins have anything to do with booting capability of the cards? I know a lot of people just use these to provide mass storage and boot from other sources.

    On a Gigabyte P45 motherboard it will not POST without the taping.

    Any help appreciated.

    Cheers
    Spart

    ReplyDelete
  17. I tried on the Dell 2950 server, not worked. I placed and removed the tape twice.
    My raid controller is model 0H726F.
    I think the problem lies elsewhere.
    But anyway thank you for sharing the solution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should always work in this server. It was designed for it. If it doesn't work out probably means it's broken!

      Delete
  18. Taping b5 and b6 works like a charm with my ASUS Commando motherboard. The only thing is there is only 7GB internal memory left of a total of 8GB.
    I moved my external video card to PCIe slot number 2 and H310 to nr 1.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for this advice. I've got a GA-X58A-UD3R, and bought two used Dell Perc H310 cards for a new unRAID build. With either card installed, my system wouldn't boot. Add the tiny piece of electrical tape over the 5 & 6 pins, and voila!
    I would have never figured this out (and wouldn't have bought the cards) if I hadn't found this blog first. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm very happy to see my blog helped you to buy these cards and get a system working! Good luck with your system!

      Delete
  20. Hard Disk Support? why i cant create a virtual disk with 2 seagate Cheetah 15K.7 450GB SAS ST3450857SS, I am on a Dell Poweredge R900 with an PERC 6/I.... can anoyone have an idea...?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Worked on an Intel SRCSAS144E (latest firmware) for me. Unfortunately the damn controller won't recognize my 4TB SAS drives, but it does recognize SATA and smaller SAS drives. Thanks! I plan on using this trick on replacement controllers should they not work in my MB.

    ReplyDelete
  22. While this tape mod works great, I'm always tinkering with this machine and I'm concerned the tape may move over other pins or get stuck in the slot. Can anyone think of a good reason not to just cut the traces at the top of pins B5 and B6?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cutting the traces might damage your card permanently. You might hit another lane, or damage/weaken the entire pci-e bus.

      But if you have a steady hand and are not afraid of doing this, sure, go ahead! It should work just fine.

      You could also use the nail polish mod, this wont come of that easy.

      I had it once that the tape got of and got stuck in the slot, a pair of tweezers got it out without a hitch tough.

      Delete
  23. I'll probably save cutting for the time the tape comes off and I have problems. I'm not entirely new to that kind of mod though - a while back I cut down an eBay-cheap x16 video card to fit in a 1x slot to drive a third screen while I saved up for a new Radeon card that would do three screens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you could always leave the tapes a bit longer so they properly stick out on the top of you pci-e slot. This way if they come off, you can easily get them out.

      If you were to cut the lanes physically, i'd suggest you use a very small drill instead, and drill a hole instead. Less chance of hitting other vital things I think.

      Delete
  24. Thanks a lot for the information, I was having a weird problem where my ram wouldn't work in 3-channel mode with an Asus P6T motherboard and an i7 920. It was very odd because the ram was detected and seen in memtest86 but the BIOS was not using those sticks so there was only the size of 2 sticks usable. Taping the pins made everything work as it should!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was using a Dell h310 flashed to IT mode by the way.

      Delete
    2. I'm happy to hear this worked for you!

      Delete
  25. Can confirm it is solving the memory issue with the Asus P9D-I mini-ITX mainboard as well.. Mainboard was fitted with 16GB ECC ram, but only 8 were recognized.. Controller is a LSI SAS9223-8i... after taping these two pins, everything works fine as expected :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to hear this worked for you to! Enjoy!

      Delete
  26. I know this is an old article, but BRILLIANT! ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!

    Newer TS140, wanted to run PERC 6i for RAID 1. When I installed it, RAM banks 3 and 4 were disabled, and if I populated them, the system would 3-1 beep and refuse to start. Added the tape, booted. All banks are populated and the RAM is seen. This saved me at least $200!

    BRILLIANT! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Absolutely brilliant. You are great.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have a TS440 with a LSI 9240-8i (a.k.a. ThinkServer RAID 500 Adapter). It's running Windows 2012 R2 with the latest drivers and firmware, however the server will crash with IO intense operations. A user can just be copying large quantity of files and the server will crash and reboot itself. I have 2 1TB drives in RAID 1, and a 1TB drive as a JBOD for backup. If the system tries to back itself up to the JBOD device, the server will crash and reboot. Reading through the post, is it possible this would fix this issue?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think this mod will help. Have you tried checking the temperature of you raid controller? It might get to warm and thus shut down.

      Delete
    2. Bummer. I haven't checked the temperature-I'll see if I can find a way to do that and run some tests.

      It's been this way since it was new and we just deal with it because we didn't find it until it was fully integrated into the network. I tried talking to Lenovo about it but it was built with WD drives that didn't have Lenovo's sticker on them, so they wont address it until there are Lenovo branded drives in it.

      Delete
  29. Absolutely amazing!!! Thank you for the excellent guide.

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  30. Worked with a PERC H310 (LSI 9211-8i) on an ASUS Z87-C.

    ReplyDelete
  31. This workaround works with Sun F20 too.

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  32. Just to confirm. This works using a HP 331T NIC in a HP Elite 8300 desktop as well.

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  33. Successful "taping" of Dell H710 controller with Fujitsu Primergy TX100 S3 (Systemboard D3009). Must enable "EFI Compatible ROM" in BIOS, otherwise POST will be hidden.

    Thanks Yannick, you saved my day!

    ReplyDelete
  34. All

    Maybe someone has posted this already, only i got the same issue with the Asus P5k64 WS and the Dell Perc H200 my systems was not booting.

    This fix solved it, YEEAHH Ducktape did the job.

    THANKS to this post !!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. tried this with a gigabyte z170-ud3 intel mobo w/ h310, can boot into windows (booting off a drive connected directly to the mobos sata) and access drives

    ReplyDelete
  36. Great! H310 working with Z170 and 64GB RAM now! The DIMM_B2 will be failed without this mod. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  37. This blog gives very important info about SAS Thanks for sharing.Very well written information. Many thanks.
    SAS training

    ReplyDelete
  38. This blog gives very important info about SAS Thanks for sharing.Very well written information. Many thanks.
    SAS training

    ReplyDelete
  39. This blog gives very important info about SAS Thanks for sharing.Very well written information. Many thanks.
    SAS training

    ReplyDelete
  40. Still relevant for the i350-T4 4 port nic in combination with some new (8th gen intel) motherboards. Fixes the dual-channel RAM not seen at boot. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Was anyone here capable of using the H310 with SSD's?
    Mine won't recognize any SSD, but it will happily recognize HDD's.
    Tested in both IT and IR modes.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi, I have a dell T110 II that I am trying to install a graphics card into and The system won’t boot. Thanks have tried taping the pins suggested but no luck? Anything else I can try?

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  43. Thank you so much. I was installing Dell KH08P Broadcom BCM95719A1904G 4-Port Gigabit Ethernet PCIe x4 Network Card into old msi g41m-p33 combo (socket 775) motherboard. When booting I would get 3 short beeps as BIOS error. After using this workaround PC now boots/posts with NIS card

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  44. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  45. Works with a Broadcom 57810s on an H8SCM as well. Thanks for the tutorial, much appreciated!

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  46. Thank you very much for the quick fix. I have a Dell Perc H310 card installed on my ASUS X58 Sabertooth motherboard which has 6 DIMM memory slots and the center 2, DIMM_B1 & B2, were lost when this card was installed in either one of the two PCI Express slots. My max DIMM memory before this card was 24GB and it dropped to 16GB after the card was installed. I put tape on the card as recommended and booted the computer with no problems. I then installed all 6 Kingston 4 GB DDR3 DIMM's and booted up. Without even using the MEMOK button it booted up and all the memory was there. To confirm, I then ran Belarc advisor and it reported all 6 slots showing "24536 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory. Slot 'DIMM0' has 4096 MB Slot 'DIMM1' has 4096 MB Slot 'DIMM2' has 4096 MB Slot 'DIMM3' has 4096 MB Slot 'DIMM4' has 4096 MB Slot 'DIMM5' has 4096 MB". I now have to update my firmware.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I Like this post and thanks to share. Post is very nice! By the way, I want to share with you information about the best:
    Printer Helpline Number USA
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    ReplyDelete
  48. Unfortunately this trick did not work for me. My Intel S1200BTL refuses to boot with my HP NC523SFP installed, no matter any of the tips I tried in this post. Thanks anyway though!

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  49. Can confirm it works in my desktop pc with a dell perc h700. I taped the 5th and 6th pin from the left.

    Dankjewel neef

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  50. Confirm it works on the Dell Perc H310 on a Z77MX-QUO-AOS. Was driving me crazy, since it works on my Asus ROG Strix just fine.

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  51. Confirm it works with Dell PERC H310 on an Asus P5E3 premium with pins B5 and B6 taped over. Without tape, system does not POST.

    Great Article!
    Charles

    ReplyDelete
  52. Building a new pfSense box. i3-9100F, Gigabyte Z390UD MB, 8GB DDR4-2400 RAM.

    I have two Intel i350T4 (four port) NICs. When I install any of them into this board, half of the RAM disappeared! Used this "trick" on both NICs and now it boots and all 8GB of RAM is available! Thanks for this post!

    ReplyDelete